Categories: Tests

Restyled DS 3 E-Tense test (2023): the small electric SUV is getting better!

Marketed in 2019, the DS 3 Crossback was the second vehicle launched exclusively by the young French brand, after the DS7 Crossback released two years earlier. Indirect replacement forold DS 3 (2016)the small SUV manufactured in the Stellantis factory de Poissy, however, did not meet with the expected success. Sold at 53,375 copies, DS expected better.

For this new year, the smallest model in the range offers a restyling mid-career. DS harmonizes its range and simplifies the name. After the DS 7, it is the turn of the DS 3 to abandon the name “Crossback”. Now make way for the DS 3 for short!

If the thermal versions evolve little, on the other hand the 100% electric version gets a major battery/motor update. And precisely, we had the opportunity to take the wheel of the version E-Tensewhich benefits from the latest technical developments from the Stellantis group.

Here is our test video:

Design: less chrome and more character

At first glance, the changes made remain fairly discreet. If the first generation gave pride of place to chrome, and in particular on the front face, this restyled DS 3 hardly uses any more. The grille has grown wider and is now more angular, with a black plastic surround.

The light signature is also changing, with the abandonment of halogen headlights on all trim levels. lighting full LED is standardand offers with technology DS Matrix LED Vision driving in full headlights at night without disturbing other motorists. Everything is possible thanks to intelligent management of light beams thanks to a camera that checks in real time if a car is coming. The light bar on the sides of the front panel also changes, and takes up the family codes of the DS4 and DS7.

The template barely changes, with 4.19 meters long, for 1.79 meters in width and 1.53 meters height. Above all, the engineers at DS made great efforts in terms of aerodynamics, which took a special place in the restyling. The Cx is slightly improved, and this is theautonomy who benefits from it.

In profile, we always find that little shark fin so characteristic of the DS 3. Finally, our model is fitted with new rims exclusive to 18 inchtitled “Nice”.

At the front: a plush passenger compartment that is always well finished

On board, the atmosphere gives pride of place to refinement, especially in this finish « Opéra » – the highest. Exactly, DS now offers five trim levels, and removes the entry level « Montmartre ». We start directly with the old mid-range « Bastille ». The latter is followed by « Performance Line », « PerformanceLine + ” and finally “Rivoli”.

Compared to the DS 3 Crossback, the changes are quite light. We always find an original presentation with these famous diamonds and some touch buttons, not always very practical (they don’t have haptic feedback). On the other hand, the10.3-inch center screen, standard on all finishes, is very well made. Inherited from Stellantis, it offers very good readability and significant responsiveness. The infotainment system, the DS Iris system will also have, as standard, remote updates ” Over the air » free.

The finishes are exemplary, with black nappa leather present on the seats and the steering wheel, as well asalcantara on the dashboard. Hard plastics are not very visible, and are foamed in several more visible places. Some storage is also available, including a very deep glove box.

At the rear: no change to the program

In the rear seats, there are no real changes. If the seat is comfortable, the space remains, unsurprisingly, quite narrow. If the legroom is a bit tight, however, the ceiling height is quite good for the category. Two adults can quite settle there for relatively long distances without suffering in the neck.

Only problem, with this exterior design in shark fin on the passenger doors, thewindow space is greatly reduced. With tinted glass that darkens the interior, it can feel slightly dark, especially since there’s no sunroof available.

Finally, the chest does not evolve and does 350 liters. This is a figure that remains in the average of the category.

At the wheel: a marked increase in autonomy

For this restyling, the most notable changes undoubtedly concern the technical developments of the E-Tense. Indeed, the thermal DS 3 keeps the same engines and also loses the most powerful block, the 1.2 PureTech 155 hp.

The electric version inherits the all-new “M3” engine block and a bigger battery. Both are from the joint venture Nidec-PSA emotors. They are machined on the Trémery site in Moselle and are then delivered to Poissy for assembly on the Stellantis lines. It is this same engine/battery couple that will also integrate future versions of Peugeot e-2008of the’Opel Mokka-e or the very last Jeep Avengerpresented at the Mondial de l’Auto in Paris last October.

This new electric motor 115 kW (compared to 100 previously), allows you to switch from 136 to 156 horsepower. The couple remains unchanged and displays 260 Nm. DS asserts that the 0 to 100km is reached in 9 seconds, a value identical to the first generation. But it is above all the figure of 80 to 120 km/h which is improved (5.6 seconds), allowing safer overtaking.

At the battery level, it is a new accumulator of 54 kWh which is housed at floor level. The latter makes it possible to reach almost 400 km autonomy in cycle WLTP, against 341 km and even 320 km WLTP on the first versions of 2019.

On the road, we have a very pleasant car to drive. Quiet thanks to thicker glazing, comfortable and with smooth acceleration, this small electric SUV is a delight to drive in an urban environment. Posted at 1 550 kg, which is finally quite light for a vehicle equipped with batteries, the DS 3 moves without ever forcing the right pedal. Equipped with three driving modes (Sport, Normal and Eco) the car only asks to let itself be rolled without forcing, while in refinement. And that’s good, it’s better for autonomy!

Exactly, on the autonomy side, what does it give? The previous generation, displayed at 341 km in the WLTP cycle, painfully offered 300 real kilometers on a mixed road. On the highway, the figures were in freefall and hardly exceeded the real 200 km. Here, thanks to an optimization of the engine/battery couple, but also to the work on aerodynamics and finally on the tires, autonomy is in clear progress. In real mixed cycle, the 380 km are really attainable, and that is a very good point. In a few weeks, these figures will of course be measured at the Lab ofAutoPlus.

Finally, the batteries will regain 100% of their capacity by 5h45 on conventional 11 kW. Fast charging goes up to 100 kW and allows you to regain up to 80% in just 30 minutes.

Read also :

Skoda Enyaq coupé iV RS test: an electric SUV with a sporty look?

Peugeot 408 (2022) test: at the wheel of the new cross-sedan!

BMW X1 (2022) test: will the German SUV keep its crown?

Verdict: a DS 3 that gets better with time

Before concluding, here are the prices requested by this restyled DS 3. in version E-Tense 100% electricthe small SUV starts from 41 700 € with the “Bastille” finish. It’s an expensive entry ticket, but at this price, the car is well equipped as standard. In addition, she is eligible for ecological bonus of 5000 € (revised downwards since January 1, 2023), causing the price to drop to 36 700 €. In comparison, the cheapest DS 3 in thermal trades at 30 100 €. But at this price, the car has 100 hp in manual transmission against 156 hp in electric.

For our over-equipped test model, the top-of-the-range “Opera” finish raises the score to 48 800 € on our E-Tense version. Also, this prohibitive price for an SUV of this size narrowly escapes the bonus (maximum €47,000), too bad.

With this restyling, DS is developing the smallest model in its range on the right track. With a more assertive design, the DS 3 gains in character, but also in standard equipment. It takes on its full meaning in the E-Tense version, with this brand new engine block and its battery from the Trémery site (57). Excellent in an urban environment, it can also afford to drive on the highway without constantly looking at its battery gauge. As a bonus, its design, development and manufacture are truly 100 % made in France !

Data sheet of the trial version:

  • Version : E-Tense
  • Finish: Opera
  • Price: €48,800 (€41,700 in the Bastille finish, which must be deduct €5,000 of ecological bonus)
  • Bonus : 0
  • Motor type: 1 electric motor (synchronous with permanent magnets)
  • CV : 4
  • Power: 156 hp (115 kW)
  • Couple : 260 Nm
  • Energy: Electricity
  • Transmission : Traction
  • Gearbox: 1 gear
  • Battery: 54 kWh
  • WLTP autonomy: 404 km
  • Manufacturer acceleration: 9 s
  • Length: 4.19m
  • Width: 1.79m
  • Height: 1.53m
  • Poids : 1 550 kg

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